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April 29, 1999
a year ago

Loose Ends

We had breakfast with John's Mom and Dad. It was good time to talk, as the rest of the days were scheduled to be fairly full, and we didn't know when we would have time to talk with them again. So, we took advantage of that. Isabel was also really nice and asked me to talk with their Japanese neighbor, who had fallen and hurt her knee during the winter, and was going to get surgery on it in a few days. The neighbor was fairly scared of what was going to happen, as she didn't know what to expect. So, I called her and asked her to come over. She hobbled over and sat down in the kitchen and we talked for a good two hours. John and I went over nearly everything that happened, from before the surgery all the way through surgery, and then everything that we remembered about the drugs, care, and physical therapy that happened afterwards.

She left looking much reassured. So that was very good. The problem was that we were late for our appointments. I hadn't really watched the time, and we ran to the old house, the Redmond house, pulled out the four things that we remembered that we had left and wanted to have, found out that the skylight hadn't been put in by the guys doing the roof, found that the 109 Land Rover was still in the driveway, and then ran for lunch. The four things that we remembered were a sweater drying rack, two fire extinguishers, and the recycling bins. They were all things we could use in the new house, especially now we had almost the same model of dryer. It was rather sad to go there and leave so quickly, with the smell of all the green life everywhere and the sound of the frogs and the shade of all the trees. There was wind in the trees, and the brook at the bottom of the cliff was babbling too. I am really going to miss all the water.

Throughout the day I realized, and noted, that the forest encroaches everywhere in the Seattle area. Even in the middle of strip malls, parking lots, and development there are trees. Not just wimpy little trees that are planted in little holes, but entire tracts of huge fir trees. Where there are trees planted, they grow large, filling the area given them and overflowing, cracking sidewalks, lifting streets, and filling in all the available earth. Things grow everywhere. And when I lived in its borders I wasn't quite as aware, for it is a slow but steady phenomena that happens every day. The only reason I was aware was that I had come from something so different.

The quick drive from the house all way to Bel-Red showed been a lot of the trees. We went to a little Vietnamese restaurant that Jon Singer once took us to, but this time at the invitation of Ngoc, as it was one of her favorite places to eat. There she introduced us to the delight of Pho, which is the Vietnamese equivalent to ramen, but with rice noodles and an unsalted beef broth, and it was served with fresh vegetables that were crisp and sweet. There was an opal basil that was peppery and minty all in one. It was very good.

After lunch we went to Bellevue and signed all papers to close the house. It turned out that the buyer had already signed all the papers on Monday, so she was very sure that she was going through with the closing. The closing house told us that the check would arrive Friday evening, or at worst Monday morning. It would be deposited to our accounts electronically, so we didn't have to run around town with the check to deposit it in the proper accounts. That was a relief. It seemed such a small thing to end this entire period. All this activity finishing in something so small as the signed words on pre-printed papers. Something of a let down.

From the office buildings, we headed down along Lake Sammamish, and dropped by a private residence that was the place of business for the septic tank guy that fixed our septic system. John was there to drop off a check for all the work he had done. the house was gorgeous, and right on the shore of the lake. It seemed a good place to work from.

From there we went to the Redmond office and I got to sit and talk with Bob for while, as John did a number of phone calls to see what was up with our last Land Rover. A lady had said that she would buy it, and take it off the property, but she flaked. So, John connected up with another buyer while we were in the office, and arranged for the pickup and delivery of our second-to-last car.

The Passat had been waiting patiently for us in John's Mom and Dad's house. It was happy and had started right up when we jumped in in the morning, after sitting for nearly a month in their garage. We did all the errands and running around in it, slowly accumilating stuff and more stuff as we ran around like crazy on all the various trips, meetings, and errands. So we raced back to the Redmond house and just as we pulled back up out of the driveway, a tow truck with a flatbed pulled up and stopped at the top. The driver got out, talked with John to establish that, yes, indeed, this was the place, and then we went down and he loaded the Land Rover onto his flatbed.

We then went through Seattle rushhour traffic to get to the place that it had to go to. At 3 p.m. the freeways were already clogged with cars, thickening and slowing around the 405 interchange with 520, nearly stopping until about sometime after Totem Lake. Yes, the worst traffic in the U.S. of A.. It was a beautiful day, though, sunny and clear and perfect, and we had the sun roof open and the familiar radio stations on and it was really quite nice. I got to look around a lot and snap shots of lots of different things, and we got there soon enough. That was good. The new owner came out of his house as we pulled up, wrote the check, and we were good. John deposited in the back on the way back and we were done with that loose end as well.

There was a trip back into work and we got our yearly reviews of the four months that we've been with the company. So it was cool, and I got a raise that reflected both the amount of time and the amount of coolness. Which was something that I didn't expect, at all, but was very nice. The really, really interesting thing, though was having my boss ask me to consider what my goals were as a professional. Our group, as a whole, for the last few years was more intent on survival than growth. Now that we were part of Xilinx, they were asking us how we wanted to develope and where we wanted to go as people, which was really, really cool. They have the resources and the desire, now we just have to figure out what it is that we really want to do.

That was a very good thing.

Afterwards John and I went to Coyote Creek and met our old dinner group there for dinner again. It was nearly like we'd never left, as it's actually not been all that long since we last met. Dinner itself was time to catch up with each other and talk and just tell stories. That was very good.

Getting back to the Rostyki's was a relief. I was tired, and Isabel had fun showing us a few more pictures of Italy before we bedded down for the night. I slept dreamlessly after John stopped snoring. I think I'm actually getting used to the smaller bed

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